Closure of tea garden in West Bengal provokes protest

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Bagdogra (West Bengal), July 3 (ANI): Hundreds of tea garden workers in Bagdogra region of West Bengal took out a protest march after the authorities closed down the Singhia Jhora tea estate without notice.

When the workers reported at the tea estate, located in Siliguri district, for work on Thursday they were shocked to find the gates locked. They looked for management officials but in vain.

Not knowing what to do, they staged a demonstration to protest against the closure of the tea garden.

"May be the manager is playing foul in this. When asked about this, the manager said there was nothing of that sort. But when we came in the morning we found it locked," said Jotis Tirki, a worker.

The tea-rich Doars Terai region has as many as 315 tea gardens. Tribals form a majority of the work force in the area.

Over four million tribals inhabit the Doars Terai region and most of them are employed with the tea gardens.

With the closure of 16 tea gardens over 17,000 people have been rendered jobless. The tribals also want better working conditions and basic facilities.

The tribals have held several rounds of talks with the state and central Governments on their demands, which they said, have not been met so far. (ANI)

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